Garda College 2-12 GMIT 1-14, Athlone (after extra-time)
Garda College powered through to their first ever Ulster Bank Sigerson Cup final thanks to a 2-12 to 1-14 extra-time win over GMIT at Athlone tonight.
It was a second goal from top scorer John O'Brien which stole the game at the death for the Templemore students.
Garda College lined out without the influential Michael Cussen of Cork and they were certainly given a testing time in this game, by a GMIT side who were also searching for a first ever final spot.
It was a Garda College goal from O'Brien after 24 minutes which proved to be the difference at the end of the opening half, with the Templemore side holding onto a 1-4 to 0-4 interval lead.
O'Brien latched onto a pass from full-forward Denis Glennon and the Dublin man's dipping shot went into the net - although a point opportunity looked the more likely result, as the ball skimmed off the fingers of GMIT goalkeeper Rory Cullen and spilled over the goal line.
GMIT corner back Donal Vaughan popped up to take a fine score to ensure just a point separated the sides with eight minutes remaining.
Miraculously GMIT continued their comeback and points from Paul Conroy and Griffin saw them hit the front as injury-time approached, but Garda forced injury-time with O'Brien kicking his fifth point.
Garda College were the better team in the first half of extra-time and although GMIT looked to have stolen victory with a late Paul Conroy goal, O'Brien found the net again to book a meeting for his side with UUJ.
Scorers for Garda College: J O'Brien 2-6 (0-2f), R Guinan 0-4 (0-3f), S Buckley, D Glennon 0-1 each.
Scorers for GMIT: P Conroy 1-3 (0-2f), N Darby, A Campbell, S Griffin 0-2 each, C Conroy, E Concannon, D Vaughan, M Martin, M Conroy 0-1 each.
GARDA COLLEGE: P O'Connor; E Callaghan, C McGrath, A Pender; A Dermody, D Mullahy, G Dillon; A O'Mahony, A O'Donovan; S Buckley, R Guinan, M Harrington; J O'Brien, Denis Glennon, J Keane.
Subs used: S McGrath for Keane, N Leydon for Harrington, J Keane for Leydon.
GMIT: R Cullen; P McGrath, D Vaughan, R McTiernan; C Garvey, T Cunniffe, J Hayes; K Conroy, P Conroy; A Campbell, P McGinley, N Darby; E Concannon, S Griffin, M Conroy.
Subs used: M Martin for Darby (blood sub), J Kilcullen for McTiernan, M Martin for Concannon, S Hughes for Garvey, W Fallon for McGinley, E Concannon for Griffin, P McGinley for Concannon.
Referee: Derek Fahy (Longford)